Juicing Tips for Beginners
You aren’t here by accident. The fact that you are searching for juicing tips tells me that you are serious about your overall health.
Thank you for doing your due diligence and researching before you start.
You may have heard a lot of stuff that people have said about juicing.
Media have mentioned how bad it is to your health. But I’m here to tell you nothing could be further from the truth. Only if you do it right.
If you follow these tips, you’ll be on your way to a healthier lifestyle with more energy than you had before.
Remember that while juicing takes time, it is an investment to your health and health is wealth.
Let’s start with the basics.
What is juicing?
At its core juicing is the process of separating the liquid contents of fruits and vegetables using a tool called a juicer.
Now, there are many types of juicers that you can choose from but all these machines have the same function.
It takes produce then separate the pulp from the liquid and the process will be different depending on the type of juicer.
Remember that you can’t juice everything.
For example, an avocado and banana has almost zero liquid content so don’t bother putting these in a juicer because you’ll get zero juice from it.
If you want to add these ingredients to your recipe then you’ll have to use a blender to chop up these fruits into a smooth consistency and then mix in the ingredients you’ve prepared with a juicer.
Juicing and blending are different
Juicing and blending are different and people confuse one from the other.
For example when celery goes through a juicer it separates the fiber from liquid and what you’ll get is celery juice without the fiber.
Contrast that to blending that where blades will chop celery so finely that it will resemble a puree more than juice.
That’s the reason why you need to add water in smoothie recipes to lessen the thickness.
Think of blending as a process of pureeing fruits and vegetables and whatever other ingredient you put in.
And the beauty of blending is the flexibility it gives you to add certain ingredients such as cereal, frozen berries or oatmeal. You wouldn’t be able to do this in a juicer.
The options are limitless
To summarize, blending retails all of the fiber and juice present in whatever produce you put in because the blades will just finely chop it. It’ll give you a much fuller drink with all the fiber intact.
Juice extracted from a juicer does not have any fiber and goes directly to the bloodstream. This is great if you want to drink juice for specific conditions like diabetes.
Which is better?
It all boils down to personal preference, for me I like both.
If I want a quick breakfast without having to chew down my food I’d go with a smoothie because it leaves a fuller feeling.
And if you like berries blending them up is better than juicing because you’ll be able to benefit from the pulp and enjoy the contrasting flavors of the different berries you put in.
But if I want to treat something specific, let’s say high blood sugar. I’d go with juicing because I could easily consume the specific ingredients like bitter melon or ginger and have it absorb directly into the blood stream.
What fruits and vegetables are the best to juice?
All fruits and vegetables are good to your health.
What you want to do is add different colors into your juice. This is known as the rainbow principle so that you’ll get all the nutrients that each color brings to the table.
These are just guidelines that will help make your juicing experience healthier. When done properly juicing can be a part of a healthy diet.
1. More greens, less fruit
The biggest mistake a newbie can make is adding too much fruit. A little fruit is okay but putting in too much puts you at a risk of diabetes in the long run because it doesn’t have any pulp to slow down the absorption process.
Use the 80/20 principle when making your own recipes. This means 80% will be leafy greens with the other 20% fruit. I’ve created an infographic that will help guide you make your own recipes make sure to check it out.
Here’s an infographic I created that gives you a guide to help you make your own recipe.
It shows you which fruits and vegetables work together and the exact amount you should put in to take out the guess work and headaches in coming up with your own recipes.
2. Organic is better than conventional produce
Granted that conventional produce is cheaper it has pesticide residue on it. Organic produce is more expensive but you have the peace of mind that it does not have any pesticide residue.
What if you can’t afford to go all-organic?
The solution is to know which produce contains the most amount of pesticide and a great tool for determining that is the EWG’s Dirty Dozen and Clean Fifteen. You can refer to this list every time you to go your local grocery or farmer’s market and buy only the top 3 or top 5 “dirtiest” produce organic so you don’t burn your wallet.
3. Rotate the ingredients
Too much of a good thing is bad as they say and yes that’s true with vegetables, well at least some of them particularly cruciferous vegetables like cabbage and kale. So it’s important for you to eat a different type of vegetable each day of the week.
Let’s say use kale as your main ingredient on Monday, celery on Tuesday, wild greens and Wednesday and so on.
Doing this not only diversifies the flavor but it ensures you that you get the most amount of nutrients from the fruit and vegetable food pyramid.
What’s the best juicer?
So you’ve made up your mind but with so many options it can get overwhelming. Just follow these guidelines…
The best juicer is the one that you’ll actually use. To get that type of juicer you’ll to answer these questions to narrow down which one that will best fit your needs.
What’s your budget?
Prices vary, the very top of the line press juicers can set you back a couple gran but there are good ones available for less than $200.
Are you going to juice a lot of leafy green vegetables? Or juice fruit? Or a mix of both
If you’re juicing leafy greens, then you’ll definitely have to get a juicer like this, if you’re just juicing fruit then a centrifugal juicer may work well for you. If you like a mixture of both, then go for any of these masticating juicers.
Do you want the highest quality juice or you’re not really particular with that?
If you want the maximum amount of nutrition inside every ounce of juice you make, then go with a slow juicer or a twin gear juicer.
Unlike centrifugal juicers that spin at several thousand rpm, these machines only need a few hundred rpm to extract juice from fruits and veggies of course the process will take a little bit longer.
Are you always in a hurry?
If you just want to grab a cup of fresh juice morning and only have a few minutes to spare then a centrifugal juicer may be the best choice for you. These extractors are capable of going through any fruit and vegetable in less than a minute. Just make sure to rinse off the excess pulp ASAP or it will be a pain to clean up.
How much space do you have at home? Do you mind having a big juicer?
Horizontal auger juicers like the Omega NC800 are bulky and take up lots of space. If space is a concern then you’ll have to consider a vertical juicer such as the Omega VRT or Kuvings Whole Slow Juicer.
These juicers don’t take as much horizontal footprint but won’t be as efficient juicing leafy greens.
Learning curve will be steeper because there are methods that you’ll have to learn to maximize the functionality of these machines.
One such method would be chopping fibrous ingredients like celery so it won’t clog the ejection port.
This is perhaps the single biggest complaint first time consumers have and manufacturers don’t include that information in their instruction guide!
Another would be alternating leafy greens and ingredients with mass (such as carrots or lemon) to maximize yield from vegetables.
Do you have kids or pets at home?
Centrifugal juicers are notoriously loud and turning it one will certainly scare away your toddler or pet dog.
Brands like Jack Lallane have successfully toned down the amount of noise their machines produce at the expense of power.
If you want something really quite then buying a slow juicer is the way to go.
No one-size-fits all juicer
The truth is there is no juicer that does not have any drawbacks. Each juicer has its own limitations and you will have to weigh your options carefully by prioritizing what’s most important to you.
Is it the speed, quality of juice, price or something else that way you are able to maximize the juicer and use it more often.
What if I don’t want to invest in a juicer? Can I still enjoy fresh juice?
Yes, it is possible but there is an extra step in the process which I explain in this article.
You can also buy a blender that enough power to blend even leafy greens and turn them into a smooth juice.
Just more water to it to give it a more juice like consistency. If you don’t mind the added step, it’s a good alternative.
Whether you’re buying organic or conventional, washing fruits and vegetables thoroughly is probably the most important step your juice preparation.
This step removes any loose soil trapped on stems or leaves. It also helps flush out excess pesticide.
This is particularly important if you add root crops like beet or veggies that grow in the soil like celery.
Even for organic produce, you’ll still need to wash it. Yes it doesn’t contain pesticide but there will be loose soil and even worms on it. Trust me I’ve seen small worms inside an organic celery.
Add ingredients with high water content
Ingredients like celery, cucumber and zucchini have a lot of water content in them with almost zero sugar.
Adding these ingredients will increase the yield of any juice recipe minus the excess calories and sugar.
Another benefit these have is that these are diuretic.
This means it will help the liver and kidneys flush out excess water and detoxify.
Just make sure to drink lots of water throughout the day to prevent any dehydration.
Have a grocery list
When buying produce, make sure to buy only the ingredients you’ll use within the week.
Buy too much and risk spoilage and just waste money on unused ingredients. I did that several times when I was just starting out.
You can base this grocery list on the infographic I shared earlier or use a paid app created by Joe Cross.
Regardless, the important thing is to plan your recipes ahead of time and make a shopping list.
Drink as soon as you can
To get the most out of every cup of juice you make, drink it as soon as possible to enjoy the nutritional benefits that juicing brings to the table. Drink it no later than 20 minutes after it comes out of a juicer.
Chop fibrous greens
I’ve read lots of reviews by consumers complaining about clogged juicers because they fail to do this step.
The solution is simple. Bring out the chopping board and chop stuff like celery or kale into smaller bits.
Failing to do this step will result in a clogged juicer.
Now back to you
These are just some of the practical tips that I’ve learned from my own juicing journey.
A lot of these are just lessons I’ve learn from research and mistakes that I made along the way.
I’ve also published another article about juicing mistakes that I’m sure you’ll find helpful.
If you have any more tips to add, fell free to share it in the comments section below.